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World Made By Hand by James Kunstler. Post-apocalyptic nostalgia. Disappointing plot and misogynistic undertones, but I read it in January and it's still with me.
In the Miso Soup by Ryu Murakami. Amazing transgressive fic, the Japanese American Psycho...kind of literally, too. His name is not a typo. Unrelated to Haruki.
Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman. Mindblowingly stylized gay coming-of-age-nove; a bit pretentious and slow-moving, perhaps only appealed to me due to love of Italy and Latin and all things alienated-Jew.
Bad Behavior by Mary Gaitskill
. Short stories that are what is in my heart.
Self-Made Man by Norah Vincent. Nonfiction - a lesbian pretends to be a man, yet she is not an FTM. Deeply flawed but brilliant. Especially enjoyed the chapters on bowling and strip clubs, and the section in which she describes the way men stare at women but not men.
St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell. Short stories that I wish I could write.
Birds of America by Lorrie Moore. See above.
A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo. Not a dictionary!  A novel written as if the narrator is learning English; sort of a travel narrative. Fascinatingly-described love affair.
Ask the Dust by John Fante. Moody terse fiction, kind of like Bukowski.
How We Are Hungry by Dave Eggers. Short stories. Either you like him or you don't.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. Energetic pop-culture-driven fiction with lots of interesting Cuban history and vigorous love of plus-sized ladies that made me smile.
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. Memoir of the death of her husband and life-threatening illness of her daughter. Dispassionate, surgical style. What's unsaid is almost the greater story. Last week, I learned a disturbing fact about this that I don't want to give away here, but desperately want to discuss with someone who's read it.
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. Again, you like him or you don't. Less accessible than No Country for Old Men or The Road. But maybe that's why I liked it better.  A knottier puzzle.
Prisoner of Trebekistan by Bob Harris. A memoir of years of competing on Jeopardy. Fun and good mnemonic tips.
Shelf Discovery by Lizzie Skurnick. Essays about rereading young adult novels. Super super fun and interesting! Some books I'd forgotten reading, and some fresh takes on things like the portrayal of sex in Clan of the Cave Bear that I hadn't really contemplated.
Go With Me by Castle Freeman. Spare, menacing novella that reminded me of Deliverance by James Dickey.
Quiverfull by Katherine Joyce. The most frightening book I've read this year, a nonfiction piece on the Quiverfull fundamentalist Christian movement.
How Beautiful It Is and How Easily It Can Be Broken by Daniel Mendelsohn. Brilliant essays on everything from Kill Bill to the Iliad.
Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett. Memoir of/eulogy to a best friend, Lucy Grealy, who wrote her own Autobiography of a Face, which is now on my list. Aside from their troubled relationship, I was also intrigued by all the business-of-being-a-writer details.


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July 2013

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